BURLINGTON, N.C.— A huge series of wrecks involving more than 130 vehicles on Interstate 40 in North Carolina are being blamed on speeding, following too closely and driver inattention in heavy rain and fog, authorities say.
No one was killed but 25 people were hurt in the pileups that began late Sunday afternoon on the route between Durham and Greensboro, said a statement released Monday by the Department of Public Safety.
Motorists traveling east through central North Carolina’s Alamance County failed to slow quickly enough, leading initially to four crashes involving about two dozen vehicles, department spokesman Michael Baker said in the statement.
As crews worked to clear those accidents, motorists in the westbound lanes slowed to look at the scene and were involved in a series of additional wrecks. All told, 134 vehicles were eventually involved.
Troopers and ambulances from surrounding counties helped police assist the motorists.
Investigators said high speed, following too closely and a failure by drivers to pay attention to the road conditions were responsible, the statement said.
The six-mile stretch of interstate between Mebane and Graham was reopened about 11 p.m. Sunday, hours after the first accidents.